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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 8, 2009 3:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Allmans & the Dead

"I love the Dead. As far as Jerry Garcia, Jerry Garcia could walk on water. He could do anything any man could ever do. He's a prince."
--Duane Allman

The two bands first met at the 7/7/69 Atlanta show, a free concert after the first Atlanta Pop festival - the Dead wouldn't have heard the Allmans, who'd just formed a few months before, but the Allmans were becoming popular as a local Atlanta band, and they had been fans of the Dead at least since seeing the 12/29/68 Miami Pop Festival show - whether by coincidence, their lineup (two drummers, two guitarists, organ & bass) was the same as the Dead's, but their music went in a different direction (I think Dickey Betts said their biggest influences were Cream and Hendrix). After the Dead's show, Garcia jammed with Duane Allman and many other musicians.

Their paths didn't cross again til the Fillmore East Feb '70 shows, where the Allmans (still relatively unknown) played on 2/11 and 2/14. (The other band on the bill was Love - Bear wasn't impressed with Love, but it's said that Arthur Lee added percussion to the 2/11 Dark Star. Bear also taped the other bands, so the Allmans were able to use his tape to release their "Fillmore East Feb '70" CD in 1997.)
Bear has this to say about encountering the Allmans: "In the summer of 1969 we played at a pop festival in a park in Atlanta. We had been hearing about a local band from Macon called the Allman Brothers Band, and someone brought members of the band over to meet us. As I recall they didn't play at that time [or the Dead just missed their show], so we didn't hear their music until their first record came out that fall. So when we were booked into the Fillmore East on a triple bill with the Allman Brothers, I was very pleased and looked forward to the shows with anticipation, as I had heard their record and liked the band.... There was a wonderful feeling at these concerts that made the shows a lot of fun for us all."
The jam on 2/11 is, of course, legendary. Members of Fleetwood Mac also joined in (even though they were not on the bill, and weren't even playing in New York!) - Peter Green had been a fan of the Dead since playing a run at the Carousel with them in June 1968; in fact he had just played some shows with them in New Orleans. Fleetwood Mac had started out as a strictly-blues band, but under the corrupting influence of the Dead, by early '70 they were doing long rock jams (as we can hear on their Boston Tea Party CDs, which were recorded just the week before, on Feb 5-7).

The Allmans & Dead next met at the 5/10/70 Atlanta show, where they each played and then joined in a jam of Mountain Jam>Will the Circle Be Unbroken. No tape survives. (Deadlists notes that the Dead had to borrow the Allmans' gear as theirs hadn't arrived, so possibly the show couldn't have been taped anyway.)

The Mountain Jam theme, of course, is based on Donovan's 1967 single "There is a Mountain". There has been some confusion over how both bands came to play this theme - it's even been printed that Duane first jammed it with the Dead at the Fillmore East! This is nonsense. It was one of the Allmans' earliest tunes, and shows up in a May '69 concert.
I haven't seen an interview stating whether they took the idea from the Dead, or independently based the jam on Donovan's song, which is a heck of a catchy tune. The melody shows up on Anthem of the Sun, at the 9:00 point in Alligator....but it's over within 20 seconds. I don't think it's likely Duane would have taken this one little part to build a jam theme, unless he recognized "hey, that's the Donovan song - we can do something with that...."

Duane met the band again on the evening of 11/21/70, after each band had played a show. Garcia and Weir were playing a short acoustic set at a Boston radio show (Pigpen was also there, but didn't play anything). Duane showed up, but hadn't brought a guitar - so he borrowed an acoustic. Some of it is on youtube - here Duane plays a short bit of the instrumental Anji.

By summer '72 both bands had become huge and were filling stadiums. After some of the Allmans had played at the Dead's 7/16/72 show, the Dead returned the favor by showing up at the Allmans' 7/17/72 Gaelic Park show, and Garcia and Weir joined the band in Mountain Jam. A poor audience tape apparently exists - I'd love to hear it.

Then they co-headlined two nights in June '73 at the RFK Stadium - I think it was Dead / Allmans on June 9 and Allmans / Dead on June 10. Everyone knows the 6/10 jam; but in the Allmans' 6/9 show, Bob Weir and Ronnie Montrose joined the band for the Mountain Jam. There is a SBD of the show, which I haven't heard.

The two bands played again at the Watkins Glen festival, July 27-28 '73, along with the Band. The Allmans' "soundcheck" on 7/27 was apparently just a few songs, but the Dead gave a set that's become more popular than the actual show the next day! As at Monterey & Woodstock, the Dead wouldn't allow any of their music to be released (though Latvala has said that the 7/28 master reels are so full of glitches they're unusable, and he wasn't too thrilled with the show quality either). The Band's 7/28 show was theoretically released on their "Live at Watkins Glen" CD - but it turns out the music on the CD has almost no relation to the show they actually played! The Allmans closed out the festival, and the Not Fade Away/Mountain jam encore is actually the end of their set, hours after the Dead played.
Here's a page with the story behind the festival - pointing out that the idea for the show had started with the 7/16/72 jam:

The biggest jam of all took place at the Allmans' 12/31/73 San Francisco show - it was one of the rare New Years where the Dead didn't play, so the Allmans filled in. Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Boz Scaggs came on mid-show to jam on Whipping Post>Linda Lou>Hideaway>Bo Diddley, then ended the show with a giant You Don't Love Me>Will the Circle Be Unbroken>Mountain Jam. The show is up in three parts at Wolfgang's Vault:

Duane and Berry Oakley both died while the Dead were on the road - Duane on 10/29/71 (the Dead were in Cleveland), and Berry on 11/11/72 (the Dead started the tour in Kansas City the next day). But the Allmans rolled on.... As Gregg said in '73, "I've had guys come up to me and say, 'Man, it just doesn't seem like losing those two fine cats affected you people at all.' Why? Because I still have my wits about me? Because I can still play? Well that's the key right there. We'd all have turned into fucking vegetables if you hadn't been able to get out there and play."

Garcia had a few words to say about the Allmans in a 1973 interview, which our resident Allmans fan SkyDawg quoted in this post, well worth checking out:
It's interesting to read that they were already thinking of releasing the Dead/Allmans jams - even in recent years, a box set of their June '73 shows reported to be in the works is still in limbo. I don't recall Garcia playing with the Allmans again after '73, which seems strange - maybe someone can correct me on that.

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Jul 8, 2009 7:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

Jan. 28, 1971 recollections:

I was introduced to the live music scene in 1970, which most memorably for me included seeing 7 Grateful Dead shows, one of which featured an unnanounced guest player, David Crosby, whom I saw as he played (but didn't sing) well away from the spotlight, out of sight to most of the audience as he stood with guitar in hand connected to one of the amps by a long curly lead wire.
(thanks LIA for your recent treatise on the GD's guest performers, I plan to read the entire piece asap).

After a great year of Carousel, Winterland and smaller venue shows I still wanted to see as many of the original San francisco "acid bands" as possible.

So on a school night (Thursday or possibly Friday, it wasn't very crowded) I went to my first of many to come Hot Tuna shows, in this case at the Fillmore West/Carousel B on January 28 or 29, 1971, bringing along a friend with whom I'm still good friends (he's currently a performing musician who does house repairs on the side).

Second on the bill was a band neither of us had ever heard of or heard anything by prior to that evening.

They were The Allman Brothers, featuring Duane in excellent health.

Our minds were totally blown. They stole the show from Hot Tuna, who seemed like an anti-climax after the stunning set which opened for them by The Allmans.

I wish a tape survived of that night.

The next day or soon after, my friend MU went out and bought their first album, but it wasn't the same.

Only "Midnight Rider" had any of the same fine guitar hooks, but it was far from the high live energy we remembered just having seen.

The last thing I remember about that particular night seeing The Allman Bros. was getting a free full-sized poster for next week's (B.B. King) show from Smitty the security cop, who handed them out with a smile at the top of the stairs as we left.

This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2009-07-08 14:12:18

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 8, 2009 2:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

There IS a tape of 1-28-71! (And also the 1-31-71 Fillmore West show.) Actually, there are lots of Allmans tapes from '70/71.
If you check out the Live Show Database at you'll find setlists & recording info for all those early shows....

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2009-07-08 21:38:07

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Jul 8, 2009 9:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

Wow, thanks LIA.
I'm having problems navigating the site with OS 9.1, so I'll get back to this when I'm reloaded with XP or OS 10.4.

Thanks again!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 8, 2009 7:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

Thanks for all the insights and info, LiA & CPW!

Much appreciated...

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 8, 2009 4:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

That little gif video in SkyDawg's post -- that's not released, right?

This seems to be from the same show

-- is there a DVD of this quality of playing available?

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Jul 8, 2009 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

There is a DVD torrent of the 9/23/70 Fillmore East show that was filmed, but never broadcast. You can probably find it, (or I could run off a copy for you if you want.)
The other footage (the one in the gif you mentioned) was from the Love Valley Festival on 7/17/70. That footage varies from good to poor. Hopefully some day the Allman's will see fit to have it released. The best thing is that it contains a complete Mountain Jam and the camera seems to be squarely on Duane Allman.

Here's a song I wished they had jammed with the Dead:;feature=related

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-07-08 20:44:30

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Jul 8, 2009 5:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

Great work, and never enough can be said about the East Coast - West Coast Brotherhood. I had some of the recent Beacon ABB shows in the truck last weekend and summarized that Warren Haynes must be the hardest working man in show business now that James Brown is gone. If not, he's taken on two of the toughest jobs in show business.

I was very pleased to read an interview with Billy that by the time the Dead reached Albany last tour that Warren had found the sweet spot with his playing. I couldn't imagine the joy of acceptance into this fraternity. Everyone knows there will never be another Jerry, but it's great that the band put their stamp on another fatman.

So with Weir & Lesh at the Beacon Shows and Warren pulling double duty, the brotherhood continues....

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Jul 8, 2009 3:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Allmans & the Dead

Nice post on my two favorite bands! Too bad that their plans for a joint tour in 1973 didn't happen. I saw the Allmans a couple of times that year and they were magnificent.
What shows they did play together are classics, the RFK and Watkins Glen shows plus the nationwide radio broadcast of the Allman's show at the Cow Palace on New Years eve with Billy & Jerry sitting in. I remember listening to the live radio broadcast that night. They were interviewing Bill Graham (& Jerry Garcia I think) on radio about why the Grateful Dead were not doing New Years Eve that year. The explanation: The band had instead agreed to do a private performance for Bill Graham's upcoming birthday.
The reason Bill Kreutzmann ended up on drums for the 12/31/73 show was that Bear had dosed Butch Trucks with a squirt gun during the Allman's set and Butch began to feel the effect while playing Les Brers in A Minor. Butch was helped from the stage & Billy finished the night on drums with the Allman Brothers.
LIA, I have an mp3 of the 6/9/73 Allman Brothers set, but if anyone knows where I can get a lossless I would appreciate it. The Mountain Jam w/ Bobby & Ronnie Montrose is quite good.
As far as why the bands did not play together much (if any) after '73 probably relates to Gregg's drug and legal problems. His own band disowned him after he testified against road manager Scooter Herring in a federal drug case involving the Allman Brothers and heroin. Gregg allegedly cut a deal & testified, sending Scooter to prison. Then there was the thing with Cher..


This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-07-08 22:22:31